UK telecommunications giant Vodafone is the latest to exit the Libra Association, the nonprofit that oversees the Facebook-run digital coin, bringing the total number of early backers withdrawing from the project to eight .
Vodafone is leaving
Both Vodafone and Libra confirmed the news last week, with the exit appearing amicable, although several high-profile departures were perceived as less friendly over the past year. The telecommunications company now intends to dedicate the resources previously allocated to the project to its own established digital payment service M-Pesa, which it plans to expand beyond the current six African countries.
Vodafone’s decision to leave the Libra Association does not appear to have been driven by government concerns or a review of the project, unlike PayPal, Mastercard or Visa, who all cited heavy criticism of the proposed digital asset as a key factor in their decisions . However, Vodafone is the first company to leave the association since it was officially founded in Switzerland last October.
Libra reduced to 20 – for now
In a statement, a Vodafone spokesperson said the company believes the most effective way of delivering affordable financial services to those with and without bank accounts is by focusing on M-Pesa. “We said from the start that Vodafone wanted to make a real contribution to the expansion of financial inclusion.” said the spokesman. “We remain fully committed to this goal.”
The Libra Association has dropped to 20 members and plans to add new members in 2020, with over 1,500 companies currently on a membership waiting list. Dante Disparte, Libra’s chief communications officer, said: “Although the membership of the Union can change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures that the Libra payment system remains resilient.”
>> Chainlink (LINK) is up 50% this month: Here are the main drivers
With M-Pesa currently accepting a number of different currencies for transfers, the possibility remains that cryptocurrencies, including Libra, will be accepted. “We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and not rule out the possibility of future cooperation.” said a Vodafone spokesman.
Selected image: DepositPhotos © email@example.com